Thursday, November 03, 2011

Guest Author Interview - Kate Hardy

As many of my readers know, I love getting to know new people and learning about their stories. I'm excited that Kate has dropped by today for an interview. Welcome Kate Hardy.

1. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not writing?

If it’s a weekend, my favourite thing is to go for a walk on the beach with my husband and children. (It usually involves ice cream – and it doesn’t matter if it’s winter, either!) We’ve had a real Indian summer this year; normally, paddling in the North Sea in October would be unthinkable, but this year it was fun! I also love cooking, and I’m having a great time teaching my littlest to bake at the moment.

2. What books are sitting in your TBR pile right now? What book are you currently reading?

I have to confess that I own TBR bookcase rather than a TBR pile! They include the newest releases by Susanna Kearsley and Rachel Hore, and I’m also waiting for the new Kristan Higgins to arrive. I’m currently reading one of Julie Cohen’s backlist that I’ve been meaning to read for a while but managed to mislay it – Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom. I love Julie’s books and they make me laugh out loud for the right reasons.


3. Please, share something you found most interesting or fun that you did to research for a book.

One of my very favourite research experiences was when I was writing Champagne With a Celebrity – which is actually about a perfume house (and I so regret that I couldn’t talk my ed into keeping my working title of ‘Scents and Sensibility’). The way I saw it, I couldn’t write about a man who makes perfume without having any idea how it was done. So I went on a course to make perfume; best of all, it was a one-to-one, so I could grill my teacher about all the bits I wanted to know. There were eighteen different ‘notes’ (card strips dipped into the perfume) and I had to sort them into ‘love’, ‘hate’ and ‘maybe’ piles. Then it was a matter of blending the ones I liked – and I ended up making something quite similar to own favourite perfume (Dior’s Addict – I just LOVE the vanilla and amber notes). And I had great fun imagining my hero and heroine in that situation, and taking it much further!


4. How did you come up with the setting for A Moment on the Lips?

This is my gelati book (mainly because I bought an ice-cream maker last summer and thoroughly enjoyed experimenting, and the kids worked out immediately that I was planning to write an ice-cream book). Originally I was going to set it in my part of the world; there’s an amazing shop that does over 50 flavours, and I had plans to combine my favourite relaxation with a bit of research, i.e. a walk on the beach and then visit the shop. Several visits, in fact, so we could work our way through all the flavours. (The lavender one was really unusual!) Then my ed said she wanted it set in Italy, not England. We’d recently visited Sorrento, so I jumped at the chance to set the book in Naples (we climbed Vesuvius, which is one of the most awesome places ever, so when I finally saw the UK cover and realized Vesuvius was on it, I was so thrilled).

The only thing was, I was planning the book during half term - when we were on the train to Paris. (We had a bit of a mad travel year, last year!) So I couldn’t resist whisking my hero and heroine off to Paris and making them do some of the things we did in Paris – including standing under the pyramid in the Louvre to get rainbows in our hair, and climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling on the hour. (It was bitterly cold when we did it, and I insisted we stayed up until the hour but refused to tell my husband and children why, only that it would be worth it. And it was!)


5. Action adventure or romantic comedy? What is your favorite movie lately?

I love the cinema, but most of the time we go it’s as a treat for the children during school holidays – which means most of the time it’s going to be a comedy (though I did manage to talk my daughter into seeing Inception last year – she hated it, whereas her brother and I thought it was great). We do still enjoy animated films, but it’s getting harder to find films that both of them like; my littlest prefers musicals (she’s just a little too young to enjoy romcoms), whereas my eldest likes sci-fi and action movies.

My favourite film this year, by a very long way, is ‘The King’s Speech’ – beautifully acted, beautifully scripted, and a wonderful score.

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Kate is giving away a signed copy of A Moment on the Lips. Just leave her a comment below and she will contact the winner. Good luck!

55 comments:

Virginia said...

Great interview! I would love to be able to just go out and walk on the beach any time I wanted to but its not happening here. I have always wondered it authors base any of their books on things that happen in real life and I guess you do. Thanks for sharing with us today.

Sunu said...

The thing that I love most we about romance is about the variety in the background the story is based on. It gives a great insight various aspects. Was delighted to hear about your research. Lovely interview . . .

Kate Hardy said...

Thanks, Virginia! I'm one for "method" writing - which means I've been making cakes for research purposes with the current book :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Thanks, Sunu! Glad you enjoyed my research. (It's one of my favourite parts of writing. I'm planning a chocolatier book, and my daughter is desperate to do the research on that one with me...)

Romance Reader Enthusiast said...

With the cold winter ahead we need those hot reads to keep us warm. Thank you for sharing.

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Waving hand madly!!!! I'd love to help with the research on chocolate!! I'm a great taste tester!!! Does that mean you'll head to San Francisco, CA??? love their chocolate.. or Switzerland?

ladyg said...

The thing i love most about romance books is the variety, different places, and the variety of the characters.

Natalija said...

Greetings from Italy! "A Moment on the lips" sounds delicious!!! Although I live in Italy, I always choose the same gelato taste: yogurt gelato with mango sauce. Simply the best! Congrats on your new release, Kate! Love the cover.

REGINA ROSS said...

great interview !!!

Readers Anonymous said...

it's great to add a new author to my list of books to read and authors to watch for. i definitely enjoyed your interview. you answered so many of the questions that are always rolling around in my head. thanks!

Glenice said...

Fabulous interview Kate! I saw the King's Speech on my trip over to England this spring. I agree it was very good!

Good luck with the new book!

Rose said...

Great interview. i would love to win.

Gail said...

I love yo read new books and get to kknow new authors. I would love the chance to read your books. Do you have a series Ms.Hardy? Where do I start?

mywildcrazyworld said...

Awesome interview!!! I will glady test the chocolate on for size for you! I am a great researcher and tester!!! *jumps* pick me!

masugr at yahoo dot com

Chrisbails said...

Great interview. This book looks great and would love to win and read. Kate is a new author for me and always looking for new books and authors to check out. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
christinebails@yahoo.com

lgm52 said...

Enjoyed the interview. It's always interesting to get a little insight into an author. Thanks for sharing!

Cathy P said...

Hi Kate! What a wonderful interview! Sounds like you had a great trip to Paris and did some really fun things. How wonderful that you did your own perfume research and are researching ice cream. Great that you do research for your books. I love romance because they are based in different locales and they tend to draw you into them so you feel like you are the heroines/hero. I, too, have bookcases full of books on my TBR stacks.

Kate Hardy said...

Romance Reading Enthusiast - thank you. And it's knowing that readers like you are waiting that keeps us writing! :)

Kate Hardy said...

girlygirlhoosier - oh, that's tempting! But actually, I did a radio interview a while back with a local chocolatier. And she's just expanded her business, so I'll be ringing her and asking if I can shadow her for a day :)

Kate Hardy said...

ladyg - so with you on the variety. And I really like that some of the newer authors have such strong voices - I loved Lynn Raye Harris's first and she's on my autobuy list.

Kate Hardy said...

Buongiorno Natalija - and what a gorgeous country you live in! Favourite gelati here - for my son it'd be cacao and for my husband and daughter it's fragola. (I'm just greedy and like them all! I loved the one in Burano made with those lovely lemony biscuits.)

Kate Hardy said...

Regina - thank you!

Kate Hardy said...

Readers Anonymous - thank you, and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview :)

Kate Hardy said...

Glenice - thank you. And wasn't that film fab? I didn't get the chance to see it at the cinema, but my brilliant husband bought me the blu-ray. And the fact that it had one of my favourite pieces of Beethoven in it... sent me straight to the piano! Hope you enjoyed your time in England :)

Kate Hardy said...

Rose - thank you :)

Kate Hardy said...

Gail - I've just handed in second revisions on my 50th, so I have quite a back catalogue! There's a list on my website (http://www.katehardy.com/books.html). I do sometimes write series, but I've made it clear on the website whether it's part of a series or a duo, or if it's a standalone story. Best place to start? I'd say with the latest and work backwards :)

Kate Hardy said...

Mywildcrazyworld - LOL, you sound just like my littlest when I mentioned casually that I needed to test chocolate. Son jumped in then too and said he would be very happy to help... :)

Kate Hardy said...

Chrisbails - thank you :)

Kate Hardy said...

Igm52 - thank you, and glad you enjoyed the interview :)

Kate Hardy said...

CathyP - glad I'm not the only one with a TBR bookcase! Paris was great fun, and I'd like to go back in the spring and visit Versailles plus some of the other sights we didn't have time to see. (And this time we're going to the very top of the Eiffel Tower rather than chickening out at the middle!) Vienna was great research, too - we had to eat lots of cake :)

Di said...

Sounds like you have some fun investigating subjects for your books. The perfume course sounds interesting & the Gelati sounds yummy!

chey said...

Great interview!
My tbr pile takes up a few shelves on my bookshelf too.

Angel Rose said...

I loved your interview. Now, I can't wait to read your book! I am so far a beach right now that I have to dream of one but January's coming and I will be on a beach!

catslady said...

Oh, I think your title was way better. I know that's their job but I wish authors' could title their own books. Great interview (I too loved Inception but you had to really think lol) and look forward to your books.

Debby said...

Action adventure or romantic comedy? I love those both. Which one I want depends on my mood.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Sherry Gloag said...

Loved the interview and have many of your books, kate and would love to add this one to my collection. Live in the same Engllish county as you and yes walking on the beach right now is a gift of Nature this year.

sherrygloag @ gmail dot com

Allison said...

I can see how research would be a particularly fun part of being a writer. Learning how to make perfume sounds like it'd be a kick.

Audra said...

Great interview - i love how you had so much fun on your research for your book
audie(at)wickerness(dot)com

Pat Cochran said...

Research sounds so interesting and
so much fun! Also sounds quite
yummy! I'm a stay at home Grandma,
always free to aid in research when
needed! Just give a yell and I'll be
there in a jiffy!

Pat Cochran

KelR1 said...

Your travels sound amazing. I'm jealous! :-) I look forward to reading "A Moment on the Lips".

lisagk said...

enjoyed the post. would love to walk along the beach. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

marybelle said...

Thank you for sharing. I loved THE KING'S SPEECH too.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Kate Hardy said...

Di - I certainly do! (And the recipe for my fave strawberry ice cream will be on I Heart Presents next week...)

Kate Hardy said...

Chey - thanks! And glad I'm not the only one :)

Kate Hardy said...

Angel Rose - thanks, and enjoy your January beach trip!

Kate Hardy said...

Catslady - so with you on that, but hardly any of my titles get through! We had lots of discussions about Inception and the nature of dreams afterwards, and daughter declared that son and I had gone into Extreme Nerd mode :)

Kate Hardy said...

Debby - isn't it great that there are films for every mood? (I still want to see Cowboys vs Aliens, but daughter vetoed that one - guess that's another to add to my Christmas wishlist!)

Kate Hardy said...

Sherry - wow, how lovely to meet someone local!

Kate Hardy said...

Allison - research is absolutely the best. Sometimes you have to be a bit cheeky (like when I rang our local fire station to ask if I could come and chat to them) but it's always worth it, because people love telling you about their jobs. (They even did a demo call-out for me so I could hear what it'd be like in the station. I should add that I went armed with a tin of chocolate biscuits to say thank you, and dedicated the book to them.) I get to meet some really great people as part of my job.

Kate Hardy said...

Audra - thanks :) I wouldn't change my job for the world!

Kate Hardy said...

Pat - LOL, it's a date! :)

Kate Hardy said...

KeIR1 - I've just been very, very lucky. Atually, to be honest, I knew last year was going to be really tough (my dad was very ill, and took most of the year to say goodbye), and I had a book that did well, so we made a family decision to spend quality time together somewhere nice on our wishlist, to keep us going through the tough bits. And it really did help.

Kate Hardy said...

Lisagk - we're so lucky that we live 40 minutes from the coast. (Mind you, today's weather might challenge me, as it's absolutely pouring right now!)

Kate Hardy said...

Marybelle - pleasure :) I loved every bit of the film, and I thought Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth were so good. (So was Helena Bonham Carter - I loved the Merchant Ivory films she made in the 80s and 90s.)

Kate Hardy said...

WINNER - random number generator came up with #12, so congratulations to the 12th person to post a comment, Chris Bails :)